Liolaemus pikunche TRONCOSO-PALACIOS & RAMÍREZ-ÁLVAREZ, 2021
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Liolaemus pikunche?
|Higher Taxa||Liolaemidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Synonym||Liolaemus pikunche TRONCOSO-PALACIOS & RAMÍREZ-ÁLVAREZ 2021|
Liolaemus sp. (?) — ESQUERRÉ et al. 2014: 522.
Liolaemus ubaghsi (?) — NÚÑEZ & GÁLVEZ 2015: 131
Liolaemus cristiani — RAMÍREZ-ÁLVAREZ 2018: 108
Type locality: Alto Huemul (34°56'S, 70°38'W, 1790 m asl), O’Higgins Region, Chile.
|Types||Holotype: SSUC Re 781, adult male (Fig. 3a,b). Collected by D. Ramírez-Álvarez and J. Troncoso-Palacios. January 29, 2020. Paratypes: SSUC Re 782–784 (adult males), SSUC Re 785 (adult female), SSUC Re 786 (juvenile) (Fig. 3). Same locality and data as the holotype. SSUC Re 780 (adult female). Collected by D. Ramírez-Álvarez. February 22, 2015. Same locality as the holotype.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: We include this lizard in the L. elongatus group because it shows all the morphological features that characterized this group: L. pikunche is a large (maximum SVL = 91.3 mm) saxicolous Liolaemus with a relatively long tail (1.6–1.8 of the SVL), no sexual dichromatism, presence of lateral dark stripe, light dots on the dorsum, and high counts of midbody, ventral, and dorsal scales (82–90, 119–127 and 71–76, respectively). Additionally, L. pikunche is distributed within the geographical latitudinal range of the L. elongatus group, but it is allopatric in regards to all known species of this group.|
Liolaemus pikunche differs from L. antonietae, which is smaller (maximum SVL = 77.6 mm) than L. pikunche (maximum SVL = 91.3 mm) and with head lighter than body and few dispersed dark brown spots (head markedly darker than the body and covered by several dark brown spots in L. pikunche).
Liolaemus pikunche differs from L. antumalguen, which is larger (maximum SVL = 107.8 mm) than L. pikunche (maximum SVL = 91.3 mm) and has inconspicuous or no tail rings, no dorsal stripes, and has ventral melanism (marked tail rings, light dorsal stripes, and no ventral melanism in L. pikunche). These species do not overlap in multivariate morphological space in the PCA.
Liolaemus pikunche differs from L. burmeisteri which lacks a dorsal pattern, whereas L. pikunche has occipital stripe and fragmented vertebral line. Moreover, the head is not darker than the body in L. burmeisteri, but is darker than the body in L. pikunche. Additionally, L. pikunche has more midbody scales (82– 90) than L. burmeisteri (70–81), fewer dorsal scales (71–76) than L. burmeisteri (76–85) and more ventral scales (119–127) than L. burmeisteri (99–110).
Liolaemus pikunche is larger (maximum SVL = 91.3 mm) than L. carlosgarini (maximum SVL = 68.8 mm, Fig. 4). All males of L. pikunche have precloacal pores, whereas only 50% of L. carlosgarini males have precloacal pores. These species do not overlap in the PC1 vs PC2 graph.
Liolaemus pikunche differs from L. choique, which has bright yellow dorsal color with black spots or black stripes on the dorsum, or occasionally totally melanic trunk, and a tail with inconspicuous or no rings; whereas L. pikunche never has bright yellow or melanic dorsal coloration and has marked tail rings.
Liolaemus curis (Fig. 4) is the geographically most proximate species of the L. elongatus group to L. pikunche; however, these species can be easy differentiated by several characters. Liolaemus curis has a yellowish dorsal coloration accompanied by series of black transversal dorsal spots or an overall melanic dorsal coloration; whereas L. pikunche never has yellowish or melanic dorsal coloration. Moreover, L. pikunche has more midbody scales (82–90, 84.0 ± 3.0) than L. curis (68–76, 72.0 ± 4.6, Table 4), more dorsal scales (71–76, 73.8 ± 1.7) than L. curis (56–64, 61.3 ± 3.8, Table 4) and more ventral scales (119–127, 122.3 ± 3.1) than L. curis (102–116, 109.0 ± 6.2, Table 4). Males of L. pikunche have 3–4 precloacal pores, whereas males of L. curis have 0–2 precloacal pores.
Liolaemus pikunche can be differentiated from L. crandalli because dorsolateral field in L. pikunche are light brown color and the occipital stripe is marked and narrow, whereas L. crandalli has brown color on the dorsolateral field and the occipital stripe is inconspicuous and wide. Moreover, L. crandalli is endemic to the Auca Mahuida volcano in Argentina and separated by almost 350 km (airline).
Some specimens of Liolaemus elongatus have a wide deep black occipital stripe and some have totally melanic dorsal color. However, individuals of L. pikunche never have a deep black occipital stripe or melanism, but instead have a dark brown occipital stripe. Although L. elongatus is widely distributed, the northern most Chilean record from Lonquimay Volcano (Escobar-Huerta et al., 2015b; Troncoso-Palacios et al., 2016) is approximately 490 km (airline) south of the type locality of L. pikunche.
Liolaemus pikunche differs from L. janequeoae, because the latter species does not feature any dorsal pattern, apart from a few black or white dots and is smaller (maximum SVL 66.9) than L. pikunche (maximum SVL = 91.3 mm). Moreover, L. pikunche has fewer dorsal scales (71–76, 73.8 ± 1.7) than L. janequeoae (77–89, 85.0 ± 4.2, Table 4).
Liolaemus pikunche differs from L. quinterosi, which has more midbody scales (82–90) than L. quinterosi (70–78) and more ventral scales (119–127) than L. quinterosi (104–112). Besides, L. quinterosi has marked sexual dichromatism, a feature absent in L. pikunche. Liolaemus quinterosi has no precloacal pores in males, whereas males of L. pikunche have 3–4 precloacal pores.
Liolaemus pikunche is larger (maximum SVL = 91.3 mm) than L. scorialis (maximum SVL = 69.9 mm) and has more supralabial scales (6–8, 7.3 ± 0.8) than L. scorialis (6–7, 6.2 ± 0.4, Table 4).
Liolaemus pikunche differs from L. smaug because it is larger (maximum SVL = 91.3 mm) than L. smaug (maximum SVL = 71.3 mm) and has more midbody scales (82–90) than L. smaug (73– 80). Moreover, L. smaug has inconspicuous or absent tail rings, whereas L. pikunche has dark brown tail rings.
Liolaemus pikunche differs from Liolaemus that do not belong to the L. elongatus group, but have similar size and occur near L. pikunche (though allopatric). In fact, L. pikunche differs from all species of the L. leopardinus group because the lack of “leopard type dorsal spots” and the lack of intense yellow or reddish ventral coloration present among the species of this group (Esquerré et al., 2019). In particular, L. pikunche can be easily differentiated from L. normae, because this latter species has red color on the flanks, ventral surface and even on the snout of some individuals, whereas L. pikunche has no red color. Liolaemus ubaghsi (Fig. 4) is characterized by a very variable dorsal pattern (occipital stripe absent/present, fragmented vertebral line absent/present, transversal dorsal whitish stripes absent/ present, whitish dorsal dots on the trunk absent/present and yellow color on the flanks absent/present); whereas all specimens of L. pikunche have the same dorsal pattern with variation only in the shades. In L. ubaghsi, 69.2% of our sample totally lack or have an inconspicuous occipital stripe, whereas all specimens of L. pikunche have a marked occipital stripe. Several specimens of L. ubaghsi have whitish dots dispersed on the dorsum of the trunk, which from transversal stripes only in the 23.1% of our sample, whereas in L. pikunche white scales of the dorsum from transversal stripes in all specimens. Several specimens of L. ubaghsi have yellow color on the flanks, tail, limbs and snout (clearly observable from lateral view), whereas inconspicuous yellowish color in L. pikunche is only observable from ventral view. In L. ubaghsi the ventral surface has several dark gray spots dispersed, whereas L. pikunche lacks spots on the ventral surface or has inconspicuous light gray spots (one specimen). These species show only marginal overlap in multivariate morphological space, and their type localities are separated by more than 90 km (airline, including the Cachapoal, Claro and Tinguiririca river basins) without intermediate populations (Fig. 5).
There is no published morphological diagnosis for the species of the L. chillanensis group, but L. pikunche differs from all them, because in this group the males have no precloacal pores (Troncoso-Palacios, unpublished data). In particular, L. pikunche is larger (maximum SVL = 91.3 mm) than L. cristiani (maximum SVL = 78.2 mm) and has fewer dorsal scales (71–76, 73.8 ± 1.7) than L. cristiani (84–93, 88.5 ± 6.4). Moreover, L. cristiani has two color pattern features that are totally absent in L. pikunche, which are: metallic light green dorsolateral stripe and red ventral color (Fig. 4). Males of L. pikunche have 3–4 precloacal pores, whereas males of L. cristiani have no precloacal pores. These species do not overlap in the PC1 vs PC2 graph. Liolaemus pikunche can be easily differentiated from L. riodamas because this latter species has inconspicuous or absent dorsal pattern, has no tail rings and has light green color on the flanks, whereas L. pikunche has marked occipital and lateral stripes, tail rings and never has light green color on the flanks. These species do not overlap in the PCA space.
In regards to the L. kriegi group, L. pikunche differs because the species of this group have a very robust aspect, short limbs, and very developed neck folds (Pincheira-Donoso & Núñez, 2005), all traits absent in L. pikunche. In particular, L. pikunche has fewer dorsal scales (71–76, 73.8 ± 1.7) than L. buergeri (78–91, 83.9 ± 4.3, Table 4). Moreover, L. buergeri has inconspicuous or absent tail rings, whereas L. pikunche has dark brown tail rings. These species do not overlap in multivariate morphological space (from TRONCOSO-PALACIOS & RAMÍREZ-ÁLVAREZ 2021).
Variation: In four males: SVL: 77.6–91.3 mm. Axilla-groin distance: 30.8– 38.2 mm. Head length: 17.4–20.7 mm. Head width: 14.0–16.3 mm. Head height: 8.1–11.3 mm. Leg length: 47.6–53.8 mm. Arm length: 26.0–31.2 mm. Foot length: 23.4–27.5 mm. Tail length: 128–154 mm (three specimens, autotomized in another). Tail length/SVL = 1.6–1.8. In two females: SVL: 85.2–89.0 mm. Axilla-groin distance: 35.6–39.1 mm. Head length: 18.5–19.1 mm. Head width: 15.8–16.4 mm. Head height: 7.9–11.2 mm. Leg length: 46.0–47.4 mm. Arm length: 29.2–29.9 mm. Foot length: 25.1–25.4 mm. Tail length: 140–145 mm (no autotomized), with relation tail length/SVL = 1.6–1.7. The juvenile has: SVL: 62.0 mm. Axilla-groin distance: 26.8 mm. Head length: 14.4 mm. Head width: 11.9 mm. Head height: 6.6 mm. Leg length: 36.9 mm. Arm length: 22.7 mm. Foot length: 21.1 mm. Tail length: 109 mm (not autotomized). Tail length/SVL = 1.8.
The variation in the scalation of the adult specimens is as follows. Midbody scales: 82–90 (84.0 ± 3.0). Dorsal scales: 71–76 (73.8 ± 1.7). Ventral scales 119–127 (122.3 ± 3.1). Fourth finger lamellae: 21–24 (23.0 ± 1.5). Fourth toe lamellae: 28–31 (29.2 ± 1.2). Supralabial scales: 6–8 (7.3 ± 0.8), the fifth curved upward. Infralabial scales: 4–6 (5.0 ± 0.6). Interparietal scale subtriangular, pentagonal, hexagonal or heptagonal, bordered by 6–9 scales (7.0 ± 1.3). Interparietal and parietal scales have similar size. Nasal and rostral always separated by one scale. Precloacal pores in males: 3–4. Precloacal pores are absent in females.
Males and females have a similar color patterns compared with the holotype, with small variations on the shades. Some specimens have a fragmented dark brown vertebral line on the center (running from the occiput to the first third of the tail). One male has a sky-blue transversal stripes instead of whitish stripes, which are placed all over the dorsal surface (trunk and tail), and also it is the only specimen with whitish dots dispersed on the head and limbs. Another male has light brown dorsal color with yellowish shade on the paravertebral fields. A female has light gray spots dispersed all over on the ventral surface. A specimen with autotomized tail has no dorsal pattern on the regenerated portion of the tail. Inconspicuous yellowish color on the cloaca, thighs and sides of the belly is present in both, some adult males (n = 2) and one adult female. Precloacal pores in the males are orange, but are discolored in alcohol. The juvenile has the same color described for the holotype, but has light gray spots dispersed all over on the ventral surface (from TRONCOSO-PALACIOS & RAMÍREZ-ÁLVAREZ 2021).
|Comment||Similar species: L. cristiani, L. ubaghsi.|
|Etymology||The epithet “pikunche”, is a noun in apposition, from the Mapudungun language meaning “north people” (“pikun” = north; “che” = people). The authors named this species after the native Pikunche people of Central Chile (between Aconcagua and Biobío rivers) where they found this new species.|
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